First dates can go two ways: they either end swimmingly well or in absolute disaster. Asking someone out is one thing, but the date itself? That’s another story—especially if it’s online.
Nervous? That’s okay—we’ve all been there. Whether you’re the person who asked or got asked out, we totally understand the butterflies and first-date jitters! The digital distance doesn’t help much either since uncertainty is scary. Who knows what’ll happen to you in the future, right?
We all want perfect first dates. However, we don’t have 100% control of their outcomes—and that’s okay. What we can control is the preparation phase. Start things on the right foot by taking a few cues from these tips.
#1: Calm your nerves
With excitement comes equal amounts of nerves. And as we’ve said earlier, we won’t judge you for that—who doesn’t get nervous on first dates? We know we do!
We here want your first date to go as smoothly as possible. This means tuning those nerves out. How? We suggest doing one (or two, depending on your mood) of these things to calm you down:
- Listen to your favorite songs
- Stream/watch your favorite movie or series
- Do a workout
- Enjoy a shower/bath
- Go for a walk
- Grab lunch with a friend (or two)
You’ll need all the serotonin you can get to shake those nerves. Clear your head before you proceed to the next few ideas.
#2: Keep it casual and interactive
Quick and easy dates are tempting. Coffee shops and bars are the go-to venues for them since they’re anywhere and everywhere. However, as fuss-free as they sound, you two are going to do a lot of talking to get something out of your dates. And all-talk no-play dates are no fun.
Make things more enjoyable by making your first date an interactive experience! Things are more fun when activities are in the mix, so get moving! We recommend taking a stroll around your current location with your coffee in hand for a more productive conversation. Get to know your date while taking in some sights and sounds over a cup of joe!
#3: Talk the talk
Dates involve a ton of talking, so you two need to keep conversations going to keep sparks flying. This is easier said than done—especially if you’re the quiet type. So, how will you two break the ice and start talking?
Would you mind ditching the cheesy pick-up lines for more exciting topics? You don’t have to delve into super intellectual stuff, but at least talk about something that’ll get a genuine and meaningful reaction from your date. You can get the ball rolling by asking questions about hobbies, passions, interests, or even traits. Who knows—you two may have more in common than you initially thought.
#4: Watch your body language
Actions say a lot about a person, just as much as words do. Even the slightest nonverbal cue can set off a large reaction. Let your date know you’re interested in them through your body language. These are three cues to watch out for when you’re together:
This cue pertains to the subtle copying of actions or behaviors of your current companion. One study suggests that the more attracted we are towards a specific person, the more likely we imitate how they act.
From the name itself, fronting means your body is facing towards your date. If your date keeps their eyes (and entire direction) on you, you’ll know they’re interested.
Is your date leaning their entire body towards you? If so, that’s good news. Regardless if you’re sitting together or apart, the way they’re leaning is a sign of interest.
#5: Avoid pretenses
The philosophy of “faking it ‘til you make it” shouldn’t apply here. Being someone you’re not can create a host of problems that—trust us—you don’t want to deal with in the future. Perfection isn’t the be-all and end-all of first dates since you can’t control everything that happens.
Save yourself from future troubles by just (as cliche as this sounds) being yourself. If you want your date to get to know you, let go of the idea of looking and being perfect. We’re 100% sure that your genuine self will be more interesting for your date than you give it credit for.
#6: When all feels right, strike while the iron’s hot
Grown adults like you can make decisions for themselves just fine. Nobody should be in your business about your first-date choices—after all, you’re the one on it.
If you feel like things are going right and want to make a move, go for it! Don’t wait for last-minute regrets and what-ifs to haunt you if you don’t do something. Besides, things may work out for you two in the long run.
These tips aren’t foolproof guarantees; instead, they’re guides to help you out. If your gut tells you to do anything outside this list, do it! You’re the only person who knows yourself better than anybody else, after all. Also, one’s intuition tends to be right most times. Good luck!